Could drafting Braden Shipley be franchise-changing move for Mets?

The First-Year Player Draft is a week away. The 2013 edition of the draft will take place on June 6-8 and the Mets are primed to get a highly-touted first round selection when they make their first pick in the 11th spot.

The Mets have the foundation for what could be a great rotation some years down the road. Matt Harvey is for real and Zack Wheeler has all of the promise in the world and let’s not forget about the potential of Rafael Montero or Domingo Tapia.

However, even with this pitching potential the Mets should be looking for another arm, an arm, like Harvey who could be a potential franchise changer in this year’s draft.

Pitchers like Jonathan Gray, Mark Appel and Kohl Stewart are capable of doing this, but it’s doubtful they will fall below the top ten, maybe even the top five, so the Mets will need to focus their energy on someone else.

Braden Shipley out of the University of Nevada, Reno could be that person.

The 21-year old right-hander from Medford, Oregon is a shortstop turned pitcher who stands 6’3 and weighs in at 190lbs. He was named the 2012 Western Athletic Conference’s Pitcher of the Year and is a hard-throwing, strikeout type pitcher with a workhorse mentality, having accumulated 205.2 IP in 30 starts over the last two seasons.

Shipley is the cousin of NFLer Jordan Shipley – a wide receiver for the Jacksonville Jaguars – and could be the first-ever first round pick to come out of the University of Nevada, Reno.

He is listed as one of the top three college pitchers available in this draft and Jim Callis of Baseball America,’s Jonathan Mayo and Keith Law of ESPN all foresee Shipley going somewhere in the top fifteen with the Mets in a good position to be the ones to grab the promising college product.

It’s very common for MLB teams to have different approaches to drafting players. They can select a player to strengthen their franchise at a position of need, they can take the most talented player available when it’s their time to select or they can go with the high-risk, high reward pick. The Mets have been drafting from a position of need and there’s no reason for them not to continue to do so.

It was in 2010 that the Mets drafted Harvey with the seventh pick; they decided that Brandon Nimmo – an outfielder straight out of high school – was the best choice to make with the 13th overall selection and last season, the Mets selected shortstop Gavin Cecchini with the 12th overall selection.

We all know how dominate Harvey has been in the Big Apple and Nimmo – despite an injury-shortened season – has proven to be an on-base machine (.405 OBP) in limited duty for the Savannah Sand Gnats – the Mets Class-A affiliate. It’s too early to tell with Cecchini, but the Mets seem to be doing some things right when it comes to first round picks.

If they do indeed get their hands on Shipley, perhaps he could be a franchise changing move similar to the direction Harvey seems to be going. A move that could provide Mets fans with hope of a bright future.

The promise of the Mets grabbing Shipley and forming what could potentially become a devastating starting rotation down the road is drool worthy for fans of the franchise, so let’s hope they make the right choice next week at the draft.

Published by: Mets360

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